The Design Museum opened in Kensington in November 2016 with the vision to inspire everyone to understand the value of design. In the last year the learning programme reached over 40,000 learners nationally, on and offsite and digitally. An exciting opportunity has arisen to lead the team providing this programme. The role is an opportunity for an energetic and resourceful individual committed to design education to build on firm foundations and steward the award-winning learning programmes to fulfil their national ambitions.
The Head of Learning will champion learning both internally and externally. They will develop outstanding programmes and resources for learning about and through design, positioning the Design Museum at the forefront of practice in museum learning, and promoting it as a centre of debate for the sector.
The Head of Learning leads a dynamic and high performing team of seven staff working on three delivery strands: helping young people into design, shaping the future of design, and providing educational experiences in design. The role includes budget and decision-making responsibility across programme expenditure.
They work closely with the Development team to fundraise for learning activity and with the Marketing team to reach audiences for learning activity. They are as key part of the management team.
Leadership and management
- Develop strategies, policies and programmes across the learning portfolio that maximise the museum’s impact in the sector and deliver its vision.
- Provide thought leadership on the development of the museum’s learning portfolio.
- Manage staff in accordance with the museum’s policies and procedures, leading and inspiring direct reports and the wider team to achieve the highest level of performance and develop their skills and talents to enable them to reach their full potential.
- Line report responsibilities include undertaking regular performance appraisals, creating professional development opportunities and providing regular positive and developmental feedback.
- Manage the overall quality, content, development, and direction of the museum’s Learning Programmes to position Learning as a market leader with unique and high-quality appeal.
- Work closely with the Development team to identify and develop funding partners for the learning programme.
- Ensure that the Learning Department has the appropriate organisational structure and people resources to deliver its operating plans.
- Work with and supporting volunteers and ensuring their full integration into the museum.
- Undertake any other reasonable duties as required by the Director of Audiences.
- Oversee the museum’s Learning Programmes to ensure activity meets KPIs and associated targets.
- Ensure sound financial management of Learning Department expenditure and income lines to maximise outcomes for learning.
- Oversee the use of the Swarovski Foundation Centre for Learning as a world class venue for contemporary design education in the museum.
- Ensure the smooth day to day running of departmental activities including ticketing and marketing.
- Act as the museum’s Designated Safeguarding Officer responsible for ensuring best practice in safeguarding for children and vulnerable adults and updating the Safeguarding policy.
Evaluation and reporting
- Carry out reporting on learning activity across the learning portfolio, including for Arts Council England and Design Ventura, where relevant in collaboration with the fundraising team.
- Capture and analysing self-evaluation data and presenting this in clear, concise internal reports, making suggested recommendations to focus future development.
- Oversee the development of learning resources and programmes including digital activities to deliver the museum’s learning ambitions
- Lead the development and delivery of special projects including Design Ventura and regional outreach.
- Support the infrastructure to deliver the museum’s digital learning offer
- Maintain responsiveness in learning to changes and developments in design education – both in relation to formal sector learning and via influential design trends and innovation.
- Oversee the museum’s flagship MA on Curating Contemporary Design in partnership with Kingston University, including financial management and supporting the Course Leader.
- Advocate in the cultural sector on behalf of the museum, for the role of learning in creative education to maintain and extend the reputation of Learning at the museum.
- Develop and sustain a range of strategic partnerships with relevant cultural organisations and key education and community agencies to promote the museum and its education activities to the widest audiences and range of learners.
- Work across the museum to ensure access and equality provision of learning is embedded in the life of the museum and that the museum’s Learning activities are as open, inclusive, and accessible as possible to all, and particularly in relation to learners with Special Educational Needs and/or risk of cultural or geographical exclusion.
Knowledge, skills, experience
- Demonstrable understanding of learning in a museum or related cultural field and wider contexts and how these shape programme delivery and development.
- Demonstrable understanding of how digital media can be used to promote and deliver learning programmes, including software, hardware, and social media.
- Knowledge of policy and curricula contexts for design education and cultural learning.
- Excellent people manager able to motivate and support a team to meet challenges and achieve excellence.
- Excellent communication and IT skills including Excel and Word packages.
- Creative flair and courage to try new approaches with the drive to get the job done calmly and with confidence.
- Demonstrable interpersonal aptitude, including the ability to negotiate with a range of people with differing agendas and deliverables to meet programme objectives.
- Commercial acumen and ability to achieve income targets with excellent budget management skills and experience.
- Passionate about design education for all.
- Suitable professional experience in museum education or similar cultural organisation.
- Able to draw on a wide network of contacts including professionals, speaker, and experts in design education and more widely to deliver activities.
- MA in design education or related field.
- Experience of devising and delivering evaluation activity.
- Experience of working on a commissioning and consultancy model.
- Understanding of marketing strategy and audience development.
- Experience of advocating externally.
Terms and conditions
Salary: up to £42,000 per annum, dependent on experience
Holidays: 25 days + Christmas eve and boxing day (museum closed)
Hours: full-time, 37.5 hours per week
Location: the museum is trialling a part-remote working arrangement, where staff work 60% of their role at the museum and 40% remote
Closing date: 30 June 2022, midnight
Interview: 11 July 2022
Second interview: 14 July 2022
For all the latest job vacancies at the Design Museum, please visit our Careers page to apply via our online portal. During the application process you will be asked to download an application form. The completed application form must be reuploaded onto your application. Please note we are not able to accept other forms of application for our job roles.
Design Museum Staff Benefits
Employees are entitled to 25 days holiday, rising to 26 days after two years’ service and 27 days after five years’ service, plus 8 days Bank Holiday and Christmas Eve (museum closed), pro-rata for part-time employees. Other benefits include access to a defined contribution pension scheme, an employee assistance programme, season ticket loan, cycle to work scheme, free entry for friends and family to the museum, a variety of staff discounts including the museum shop and free entry to a wide number of galleries and museums in London.
All eligible staff will have access to the Design Museum Defined Contribution Pension Scheme. An employees pay a minimum amount of 4% of their pensionable salary every month. On top of this payments are made into the employee’s pension by the museum of 4% of the employee’s pensionable salary. Total paid into an employee’s museum pension = 8%.
Hours of Work
Full-time employees are required to work no less than 37.5 hours per week and the standard working day is 9.30am – 6.00pm which includes a daily 1-hour break (30 minutes paid and 30 minutes unpaid). Hours for part-time employees are pro-rated accordingly.
Diversity and Inclusion
The museum pro-actively seeks to collaborate with institutional partners, individuals, and networks to realise its commitment to build a culturally diverse workforce. We positively encourage applications from underrepresented groups and consider candidates who are suitably qualified and eligible regardless of sex, race, disability, age, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, religion or belief, marital status, or pregnancy and maternity.
About the Design Museum
The Design Museum is located in London and is the world’s leading museum devoted to architecture and design, It makes the impact of design visible and is the only place in the UK where the design industry, education and the public can come together to change the way people think about themselves and the future.
Since it opened its doors in 1989 the museum has displayed everything from an AK-47 to high heels designed by Christian Louboutin. It is a registered charity that has staged over 100 exhibitions, welcomed over seven million visitors and showcased the work of some of the world’s most celebrated designers and architects including Paul Smith, Zaha Hadid, Jonathan Ive, Frank Gehry, Eileen Gray and Dieter Rams.
On 24 November 2016, The Design Museum relocated to Kensington, west London. Leading architectural designer John Pawson converted the interior of a 1960s modernist building to create a new home for the Design Museum giving it three times more space in which to show a wider range of exhibitions and significantly extend its learning programme.
Since July 2020 and throughout the pandemic, the museum has received funding from the National Lottery, Arts Council England, and the government, through the Cultural Recovery Fund.
Our vision, purpose, mission, and values
Our vision is a world where everyone values design
The purpose of the Design Museum is to make the impact of design visible
- To build public awareness of design by connecting design with people’s lives and passions
- To reflect the designer’s role at the forefront of social, technological, and environmental change
- To serve the design community. Design is a practice, a diverse discipline, infinitely rich in approaches and characters. It is a young discipline, whose role in the world is evolving. Our unique approach to working with designers is to invite them to ‘think in public’
The museum’s core values are collaborative, welcoming, enterprising, and forward looking.
Application Closing Date: 30 June 2022